Healthy and Fun Snacks for Kids

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healthy smoothie for kids. Super Healthy Kids

Whether your kids are always on the hunt for their next snack, like my kids, or they just need a couple of snacks each day, being prepared for the moment when hunger strikes is crucial. While pre-packaged snacks can be convenient, do you recognize all of the ingredients in them? I sure don’t. It’s amazing how many “chemically” sounding things go into a snack bar or a bag of crackers with cheese. With a bit of planning, having healthy snacks available is convenient too.

Being ready with your own snack arsenal allows for a healthful snack without much of a fuss. And the coolest part of taking the time to plan out the snacks for the week? You’ll know the ingredients going into the foods that you are providing. This is especially important if your child(ren) has any dietary restrictions.

Why Are Snacks Important?

Let’s start with the most obvious: being hungry makes little ones (and big ones too) cranky. Some kids prefer to eat smaller meals more frequently, whereas others may eat well at meals but may need a snack to curb hunger and provide an energy boost. Either way, the snack foods that you present provide important fuel for your child’s developing body. Also, what you feed your child now impacts his food choices as he gets older. So starting him off with healthful snacks (and foods in general) at an early age will most likely make him a healthier eater when he’s older too.

Bonus!!!

So, what can you have on hand? Here are a few ideas*, but really, the possibilities (and opportunities for making your child a healthy food fan) are endless. 

  • Cut up vegetables paired with hummus or another dip
  • Cut up fruit, which you can serve on a skewer with a yogurt dip to dress it up
  • Plain yogurt and fruit parfait, with a touch of honey for sweetness if you need it
  • Hard cooked egg
  • Apple slices with peanut butter
  • String cheese. We love ours served with pizza sauce for dipping.
  • Nuts mixed with raisins
  • Air popped popcorn
  • Dried fruit mixed with whole grain cereals and nuts
  • Never underestimate leftovers. If you have some leftover grilled chicken that you can cube and skewer with bits of pineapple (or cherry tomato, or cheese, or whatever you have on hand) in between, you have a snack!  Or that leftover turkey from the crockpot can become sliced turkey to use on whole grain crackers.
  • Smoothies
    • Green Smoothie! My family loves this smoothie. For us, we prefer for all of the fruit to be frozen, then we add green spinach and we add two tablespoons of honey.
    • Silken Smoothie: Add tofu to a smoothie with strawberries or raspberries
    • Berry Brainy Blizzard: berries, flax meal, and avocado all support brain health!

Here are recipes that you can make in advance and use during the week.  Remember that muffins freeze well and can be microwaved (or thawed) as needed.  I like to take a morning and make a batch or two of muffins and make snack bars that can be stored in the refrigerator until they are needed.

  You can prepackage them to have them ready to hand out to pack for school snacks.

  • Granola Bars: homemade granola bars are delicious!
  • Energy Bars: I have had success with energy bar recipes, reducing the sugar in half and using nuts like walnuts and pine nuts. We also use chopped whole dried dates or dried cranberries.
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins: A regular egg works well if you don’t have flax on hand to make a flax egg.
  • Blueberry Muffins: I replace all of the flour called for in the recipe with white wheat flour and reduce the sugar to ½ cup.
  • Roasted Chickpeas: simply take chickpeas, rinse and pat them dry.  Roast in an oven on 400 degrees, for about 40 minutes until crispy.

Other fun snack ideas:

  • Salsa or guacamole with homemade whole wheat pita chips
  • Bean and cheese burrito in a whole wheat wrap
  • Quesadillas. There are so many combinations that you could use, from a cheese quesadilla to an avocado hummus quesadilla. 
  • Make your own chickpea hummus 
  • Chia pudding. Soak chia seeds in coconut milk or almond milk for two-three hours- you'll have pudding. 

*Remember to consider your child’s developmental stage before serving any of the ideas listed.

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